American hedonism closes its eyes to death, and has been
incapable of exorcising the destructive power of the moment
with a wisdom like that of the Epicureans of antiquity.

- Octavio Paz
Death is un-American, and an affront to every citizen's inalienable
right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

- Arnold Toynbee
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"As long as such self-serving hypocrisy
motivates America's response, Ukraine will
only sink further into needless bloodshed,
and that blood will be on America's head."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors,
since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors,
for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal
applies only upwards, not downwards.

― Bertrand Russell
Global Coke
Global Coke
"What those 'racists' are reflexively and rightly reacting
to is the soulless chill as the fire goes out beneath the
melting pot. Those who think America can thrive as a
'cultural mosaic' are worse than fools; they're Canadians."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Global Coke
Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe.
It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster,
in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe
have grown to appalling dimensions.

― Frantz Fanon
What the United States does best is understand itself.
What it does worst is understand others.

- Carlos Fuentes
Poor Mexico, so far from God
and so close to the United States.

- Porfirio Diaz
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"Indeed, everything about the American southland was magical
and exotic to the young Canadian musicians, from the sights
and smells to the drawling manner of speech to, especially, the
central role that music played in people’s everyday lives."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
- Sigmund Freud
America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.
- Auguste Bartholdi
chimerica
chimerica
"This is the tone of the China Century, a subtle
mix of Nazi/Soviet bravado and 'oriental'
cunning -- easily misunderstood, and
never
heard before, in a real enemy, by the West."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
chimerica
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"And for the others who argued for English-only
patriotism, I note that there are more than
57 million Americans (about 20% of the nation)
whose first-language is not English...."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
predator-firing-missile4
predator-firing-missile4
"This is the behavior, and the fate, of paranoid
old-world tyrants like Hitler or Saddam, not liberal new-world democracies like America pretends to be."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
predator-firing-missile4
America is the only nation in history which
miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to
degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

- Georges Clemenceau
I found there a country with thirty-two religions and only one sauce.
- Charles–Maurice Talleyrand
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle,
and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.

- Edmund Burke
America is the only country ever founded on the printed word.
- Marshall McLuhan
"The removal of racist sports nicknames (and mascots) seems outrageously belated
-- why, exactly, has this civil rights cause
taken so long to gain momentum?"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the
United States reactionaries use to scare people.
It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't.

- Mao Tse-tung
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but
they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.

- Red Cloud
In America sex is an obsession,
in other parts of the world it is a fact.

- Marlene Dietrich
I would rather have a nod from an American,
than a snuff-box from an emperor.

- Lord Byron
One day the United States discovered it was an empire.
But it didn’t know what an empire was.
It thought that an empire was merely the biggest of all corporations.

- Roberto Calasso
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather
be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

- Alexis de Tocqueville
newtown
newtown
"No one, I thought, could watch those scenes, of young children slaughtered en masse, and so many parents grieving, without thinking that this, finally, would tip some kind of balance in the country."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
newtown
If you are prepared to accept the consequences of your dreams
then you must still regard America today with the same naive
enthusiasm as the generations that discovered the New World.

- Jean Baudrillard
I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
- Samuel Johnson
America, thou half brother of the world;
With something good and bad of every land.

- Philip Bailey
"What can be more powerful than disinformation in the Information Age?"
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
- Sir Walter Besant
Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by
posterity because he was the last to discover America.

- James Joyce
Now, from America, empty indifferent things
are pouring across, sham things, dummy life.

- Rainer Maria Rilke
If the United States is to recover fortitude and lucidity,
it must recover itself, and to recover itself it must
recover the "others"- the outcasts of the Western world.
- Octavio Paz
The youth of America is their oldest tradition.
It has been going on now for three hundred years.

- Oscar Wilde
"America really is, for most Americans, all things considered, a good place to be, and all they really want is for everyone to enjoy the same privilege and pleasure."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
When good Americans die they go to Paris;
when bad Americans die they go to America.

- Oscar Wilde
jobs drug dealer
jobs drug dealer
They're nothing more than traffickers; and as the smart traffickers'll tell you, you don't use the merchandise. They are just inoculating their kids with a tech-drug serum, to immunize them against the very merchandise that put the **** bowling alley in their basement.
jobs drug dealer
America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that
lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself.

- Georg Friedrich Hegel
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room.
Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.

- Arnold Toynbee
Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.
- Winston Churchill
The thing that impresses me most about Americans
is the way parents obey their children.

- Edward, Duke of Windsor
Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering
what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

- John Maynard Keynes
Europe was created by history.
America was created by philosophy.

- Margaret Thatcher
America is God's crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of
Europe are melting and reforming!... The real American has not yet arrived.
He is only in the crucible, I tell you - he will be the fusion of all races.

- Israel Zangwill
American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those
who have seen America only in their dreams.

- Pico Iyer
America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.
- Ringo Starr
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.
It has never yet melted.

― D.H. Lawrence
I have two conflicting visions of America.
One is a kind of dream landscape and the other is a kind of black comedy.

― Bono
The American mirror, said the voice, the sad American mirror
of wealth and poverty and constant useless metamorphosis,
the mirror that sails and whose sails are pain.

― Roberto Bolaño

November 20, 2018

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Pages: 1
Author Topic: Ai Weiwei


Gao Xue
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
Gao Xue
Ai Weiwei
on: December 17, 2013, 14:53

I suggest Ai Weiwei, the most famous artist and free voice in China.
Here is his opinion on the NSA and spying, in America and China:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jun/11/nsa-surveillance-us-behaving-like-china
He says:
"When human beings are scared and feel everything is exposed to the government, we will censor ourselves from free thinking. That's dangerous for human development."
and
"To limit power is to protect society. It is not only about protecting individuals' rights but making power healthier."
----
Here is the film about him, Never Sorry, which won the Jury Prize at the Sundance Festival:
http://aiweiweineversorry.com/
----
Here is his big art exhibition, According to What?, in Toronto. News and reviews link on the left, with much information on him:
http://www.ago.net/aiweiwei/

He is certainly the most important "Voice" in China today, and he lived in America for 12 years.



Jorge-
Acosta
Novice Their American
Posts: 6
Jorge Acosta
Re: Ai Weiwei
on: December 17, 2013, 15:17

I am a great fan of Ai, and have been for years. He is truly becoming a global voice, an "icon of resistance" (New York Times), and lives on the fault line of freedom in China, speaking from that place to everyone about everything.
Here is his Weiwei-isms from Princeton Press, modeled on Mao's Little Red Book ("Chairman Mao was the first in the world to use Twitter. All his quotations are within 140 words."), and you can see some other collections as well: http://www.amazon.com/Weiwei-isms-Weiwei-Ai/dp/0691157669.
And here is an excellent article I found, thanks to you Gao, about him and his According to What? show, with many interesting links about him, his words and his place opposite to, yet very much of, America: http://www.canadianart.ca/features/2013/08/21/ai-weiwei-ago/.



Gao Xue
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
Gao Xue
Re: Ai Weiwei
on: December 17, 2013, 15:28

I forgot this article where Ai talks about America and China: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/05/opinion/ai-weiwei-us-election/
He says:
"Chinese intellectuals, and indeed the public at large, believe that no matter who wins the race, America will have to be soft in its approach to our country because there is so much at stake."
(My favorite weiwei-ism: "Everything is art. Everything is politics.")



Malcom-
White
Veteran Their American
Posts: 21
Malcom White
Re: Ai Weiwei
on: January 6, 2014, 13:12

Big fan of Ai's also, in that (Chinese) context: "The Internet is the best thing that could have happened to China."
His conviction that
"The Internet is uncontrollable. And if the Internet is uncontrollable, freedom will win. It's as simple as that."
seems well-founded to me, and echoes the arguments that Brian Jones and Wyatt Dick were making in the 'America is dead! Long live America!' and 'U.S. fiscal failure' discussions: that America is a kind of fate for any people who basically want what America has, and its 'gizmos' (as Wyatt calls them), like the internet, are a sort of viral force to which traditional forms of authoritarianism ('They're banning books, god bless 'em!') have thus far shown no significant immunity.

My problem with the Great Ai lies in the embrace and celebration of his essentially negative concept of freedom--as ever more 'liberty' to think and do for ourselves--by people who already have too much of it, like Americans. One's tonic is another's poison; and the freethinking that Ai is getting beaten up for in China has long since become a tyrant in America.



Kaori-
Yoshimura
New Member
Posts: 3
Kaori Yoshimura
Re: Ai Weiwei
on: February 3, 2014, 11:15

I agree, Malcom, but we must never lose sight of the immediate, where we live and suffer and struggle for better things. For people like Ai, and this is most people in the world, the immediate is full of necessity, often difficult, sometimes very cruel. Then freedom is above all possibility, and possibility, mere possibility, is like air to someone who is suffocating. First, breathe.



Gao Xue
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
Gao Xue
Re: Ai Weiwei
on: February 12, 2014, 11:41

Here is an article on Ai's latest show: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2014/01/ai-weiwei-moon/.
He is under country arrest, but this is only driving him further into the new world country of the internet, in which he is free and China is imprisoned.



Jorge-
Acosta
Novice Their American
Posts: 6
Jorge Acosta
Re: Ai Weiwei
on: February 17, 2014, 10:37

I see that someone has calmly and purposely destroyed one of the neolithic vases in Ai's According to What? show, in Miami (http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/cultist/2014/02/visitor_smashes_ai_weiwei_vase_pamm_miami.php).
Everything is art. Everything is politics.



Dawn-
Ballantyne
New Member
Posts: 1
Dawn Ballantyne
Re: Ai Weiwei
on: February 17, 2014, 12:13

Note that Weiwei (famously) recorded the destruction of an ancient vase himself... (the 'someone' at the Miami exhibition was likely imitating the triptych below, which is on display behind the 'garishly painted vases' and which you can actually see in the news photo -- perhaps it was Weiwei himself, in disguise, who committed this 'crime'!)...
Image



Jorge-
Acosta
Novice Their American
Posts: 6
Jorge Acosta
Re: Ai Weiwei
on: February 22, 2014, 13:36

A curious--and curiously Their American--twist to the vase smashing in Miami: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2562096/Ai-Weiwei-1m-vase-smashed-protestor-furious-despite-coming-criticism-defacing-ancient-Chinese-works.html,



Gao Xue
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
Gao Xue
Re: Ai Weiwei
on: March 23, 2014, 21:14

Ai's last two tweets (from this morning):

三月二十四日。今天是10个遇难学生的生日,他们是:郭飞,黄莎莎,李建苇,李友,刘彩梅,罗雨晴,肖余龙,杨滔,曾志阳,曾碧琪。
and
从2013年11月30日开始,每天早晨,我在草场地258号工作室门外的自行车车篮中放置一束鲜花,直至我恢复自由旅行的权利。第115天,2014年3月24日。

March 24. Today is the birthday of 10 students were killed, they are: Guo Fei, Huang Shasha, Li Wei, Lee, Liu Caimei, Luo Yuqing, Xiao Yulong, Yang Tao, Zeng Zhiyang, who Biqi.
and
From 30 November 2013, to begin each morning, I place a bouquet of flowers in the meadows outside the studio, until I restore the right to freedom of travel. The first 115 days, March 24, 2014.



Malcom-
White
Veteran Their American
Posts: 21
Malcom White
Re: Ai Weiwei
on: March 25, 2014, 11:33

Perfect illustration of Ai’s profound grasp of the art/politics of the future. Thanks, Gao!



Aminah-
Hayek
Experienced Their American
Posts: 17
Aminah Hayek
Re: Ai Weiwei
on: April 13, 2014, 07:16

I just came across this excellent essay by Ai, on America and China: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/05/opinion/ai-weiwei-us-election/.
Among other things, it speaks eloquently to a number of themes in Their America threads here, about 21st century democracy, freedom of speech and the press, authoritarianism, (dis)information, and the American media, for example. One senses that he is writing not so much from China, or even from the world at large, but from the future to the present.



Jorge-
Acosta
Novice Their American
Posts: 6
Jorge Acosta
Re: Ai Weiwei
on: May 14, 2014, 19:19

Imprisoned in China, Ai comes to Alcatraz: http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/14/5717580/ai-weiwei-alcatraz-exhibit.

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